How to Make a Pinwheel

Pinwheels are not only pretty to look at, but a lot of fun to make.


Here is a short tutorial on how to craft these little windmills.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper (I used double-sided scrapbooking paper, but you may use any paper you have. You may even wish to decorate it yourself.)
  • Flat push-pin (or brad)
  • Tiny wooden dowel (or straw)
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • glue
  • Any embellishments for the center of the pinwheel that you have such as buttons (optional)


Read the considerations at the end of the instructions before beginning.

  1. Cut your choice of paper 5″ x 5″ square.
  2. Lay your ruler diagonally on the square from corner to corner. Mark 2 ½” from one corner toward the center with a light pencil mark. Mark 2 ½” again, from the other corner toward the center.
  3. Lay the ruler diagonally the other way from corner to corner. Again mark the 2½” from the corner toward the center from each corner.
  4. You should now have each corner marked with a light pencil line toward the center 2 ½”. Cut on these four lines and stop at the 2½” mark.
  5. Gather every other corner and bring them together at each point. Use a dab of glue in between each layer to secure the corners.
  6. Guide a push-pin through the center of the gathered corners and into the wet end of the dowel. You may use a small hammer to guide it into the dowel. Leave a small space on the back between the pinwheel and dowel for the pinwheel to turn. See the considerations below.
  7. Use any embellishments you wish in the middle of the pinwheel and enjoy!


  • If your dowel doesn’t already come with a tiny hole at the top (mine came that way), soak one end of the dowel in water. This can help to soften the wood and prevent it from splitting when pushing in the pin.
  • Straws can work in the place of dowels. I tried this using a strong straw and first making a hole at one end with a tack. But instead of using a tack to secure the pinwheel I used a brad through the pinwheel and straw and securing it on the other side of the straw. The brads I used can be found in craft stores.
  • You can also create pinwheels from fabric in the same way as the paper. Use a heavier or stiffer fabric to create this.
  • Also consider using pinking sheers for a decorative edge on the paper or fabric.

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